This past Sunday we were hit with a surprise nasty little snowstorm. I say “surprise” because while the snow was well-predicted, after so many false calls for storms the past few years, no one around here believes the weather people any more.
In any case, we were leaving church. I in our beater Honda Civic with our daughter and my husband in the minivan with our son. My husband has to arrive at an unseemly hour for worship practice, so we drive separately.
Shortly after pulling out, I realized the roads were bad. Very bad. I called my husband in a panic and he suggested pulling over so we could switch vehicles. I growled at him that I was too terrified to switch lanes and hung up on him. I am a peach.
After another 10 minutes of white-knuckle driving and glancing down at my cell, totally ticked that he didn’t have the decency to call back and do something to fix the whole icy road situation, I finally picked up my phone at a light. He had called 3 times. I had set my phone on silent during the service. Whoopsie with some misplaced blame.
In any case, we pulled over, switched up the vehicles and proceeded on. But this wasn’t any better. In fact, it was worse, and since we had determined the van was the safer vehicle, I now had both children. After repeatedly losing traction and sliding into the curb I started hysterically sobbing. You know the kind of wailing where you can’t breathe? Yeah, that. I was going to kill myself and both our children.
We ended up parking the car and setting off again as a whole family, with my husband at the wheel. You can imagine how the “sweetness” of our marriage shone in the next 2 hours (it usually takes us 20 minutes to get home from church). I made helpful suggestions, such as ” Be careful!” and “Keep a safe following distance.” Since my husband loves input on his driving, this went over extremely well.
We slid backwards on hills and we prayed. I put my head between my knees for dramatic effect. We fed the kids random cupcakes we had in the van for lunch and told them it was a game to see who could be quiet the longest. In short, we were scared out of our minds.
The roads were packed because no one expected the storm to be this bad. There was no one to call because everyone was in the same boat. Ambulances and firetrucks kept wailing by. IT WAS NOT GOOD.
It was then that I realized we were The VonTrapps.
Clearly, someone stayed up until 11pm on Thursday night and had Maria and Georg on the brain…
But see, really, the parallels can’t be denied. We were in a horrible situation, with only ourselves to rely on.
We had seriously considered just parking the van and going on foot. I was reminded of Georg saying as they were preparing to flee The Abbey, “But the children…”, and Maria answering, “We’ll help them.” Yes, my husband had his Old Navy canvas shoes on, but we could walk fast, right? I could carry our son on my back and sling my The Sak tote over my neck–no way would I leave that behind.
There were snow and hills. Granted, the way was concrete-paved and less wild territory, but it was a desperate winter situation nonetheless.
We even had a guitar, thanks to that early morning worship practice. Granted, it was a bass guitar that had to be plugged into an amp, but it was there. Maybe if my husband strummed loudly enough he could muffle the singing voice that caused me to flunk chorus in high school (this is a true story).
Yes, there were less nuns praying over us as we left, and no Nazis in hot pursuit, but I am pretty sure for Sunday afternoon, we were indeed The VonTrapps.
Step aside Maria and Georg, the hills most certainly are alive and Dr. J and I are taking Downingtown.